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  • Writer's pictureAlicia Payne

How Coalitions Across Ohio are Organizing Around Issue 1

Ohioans Against Issue 1 raises concerns of potential erosion of democratic principles



The upcoming special election in Ohio August 8, 2023, presents a special opportunity for voters across the state to unite and reject Issue 1. At the heart of Issue 1 is a modification to the requirement for passing future constitutional amendments in Ohio. Currently, a simple majority of voters, 50% plus one vote is needed. However, if Issue 1 is approved, it will increase the threshold for passing constitutional amendments to 60% of the votes. This change has garnered support from several conservative organizations, including the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and The Christian Alliance. Notable Republican politicians, including Governor Mike DeWine, have also backed Issue 1. Could this reshape Democracy?


Govenor DeWine believes voting yes on Issue 1 will eliminate the constant hoops and burdens associated with the current legislative process. Govenor DeWine has concerns that out- of –state individuals can impact direct changes to the constitution. He stated, “The concern is that people outside the state can come in, (echoing complaints raised by business organizations) and spend tons of money to impact.” Govenor DeWine further emphasizes, after hearing arguments from the business community, that voting yes will protect Ohio’s interests and the integrity of Ohio Constitution.


Despite support from some Republican politicians, a growing coalition of Ohioans stands firmly against Issue 1. The “Ohioans Against Issue 1 ” Facebook group serves as a platform for over 14,000 members to unite, share information, and mobilize opposition. “Ohioans Against Issue 1 coalition stands proudly in their mission to oppose a “yes” vote on Issue 1 and make their argument clear. They assert, “Issue 1 is a blatant power grab by the Ohio legislature. It’s bad for all citizens.” The coalition group understands the potential consequences of raising the threshold for passing constitutional amendments and is committed to preserving the current requirement of a simple majority.


The members Greg Bean- Deflumer, Abby Buckerfield, Nate Chapman, Zach Chapman, Tim Holt, Will Ford, Erin Lewis, Rachel Espino, Mindy Hedges, Sam Rocco, Vivian Lermond argues that increasing the threshold to 60% would make it significantly harder for Ohioans to exercise their democratic rights and have their voices heard. Along with The Ohio Voters Rights Coalition, grassroots organizations, and other nonpartisan groups, “Ohioans Against Issue 1” raises concerns of potential erosion of democratic principles. Ohioans from all political backgrounds, including Republicans and former President Donald Trump’s partisan supporters have come together setting aside political differences to find common ground.


In the battle over Issue 1, Ohioans find themselves at a crossroads of democracy. Governor DeWine and supporters argue that passing Issue 1 will protect Ohio’s interests and streamline the legislative process. However, The Ohioans Against Issue 1 coalition stands firm in their opposition, asserting that the power grab undermines democratic rights. With passionate voices on both sides, Ohioans must carefully consider the potential consequences and make their voices heard at the ballot box. As the debate rages on, the future of Ohio's democracy hangs in the balance.


 

The Dayton Weekly News is Dayton, Ohio’s longest running African American News publication. ​On November 23, 1993 the first issue rolled off the presses. Every Thursday since that first issue, the Dayton Weekly has delivered news and information geared towards Dayton’s African-American community covering local politics, health, education, business, community news, religion, sports and entertainment. Read this article, and more, in this week's full publication.


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